Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,815 Ratings
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
greatlakesbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 11-29-2005

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,815
Reviews:
423
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,362
Gots:
339
For Trade:
33
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,815 |  Reviews: 423
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #150!

22oz bomber poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

2010 vintage.

Had a few bottles of this since the release back in October, but have been waiting for a special time to open this. Tomorrow's my birthday, so I figured I'd open it up now and drink it into the night and next morning!

A - For a beer named 'Blackout Stout', it's not the darkest beer I've seen by a longshot. There are rich, cola and chocolate colored highlights surrounding the beer and as the beer is tilted, you can easily see through it. Mostly just a very dark auburn color. A steady pour yields about a finger's worth of khaki colored head that has decent retention. Lacing is moderate, not much but what's there does last for a while. While drinking it's possible to see thin carbonation rising from the bottom, and there are patches of carbonation sticking to the side of the glass.

S - Smell is a very enticing combination of bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet malts, slight dark fruits. Surprisingly not much chocolate or coffee notes which normally are flooding these kind of beers. Reminds me of Four Roses Eclipse in the way that the bourbon is well-integrated with the base beer rather than it being the sole focus.

T - As in the nose, the barrel just adds so much to the normal Blackout Stout without completely overshadowing it. Bourbon is noticeable and readily apparent, but it is complemented by a lot of the vanilla and fresh oak from the barrel, and the chocolate that was absent from the nose makes its way into the taste side-by-side with the vanilla and lingers far into the finish. At first the alcohol is a bit too hot, but as the beer warms up the rest of the beer helps compensate.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with low carbonation. Incredibly smooth and creamy, with a finish full of bourbon, chocolate, and alcohol. Leaves a thin coating on the palate.

D - Drinkability is high. While at first the alcohol is certainly present, it cools off and melds perfectly with the rest of the beer. I sipped this over the course of an hour and a half and was happy the entire time.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head that fades quickly. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coconut and vanilla. The tastes follows the nose but with more coconut and vanilla. Full creamy mouthfeel. Warming as it goes down. Just a fantastic beer that I hope to enjoy every year! Much better than the regular BO stout if you ask me. Well done GLB!!

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The appearance was a decent jet black color with a quickly dissipating less than a finger’s worth of white head into the body. There was barely any lacing. The smell was a super strong alcohol. It was so strong that I had to let it warm up a good half hour just to let it warm up to my senses. Once that happened there were some light vanilla and chocolate characteristics. The taste was mainly sweet and alcoholic hot. The aftertaste was hot, sweet and sticky leading into the same sort of finish. On the palate, this one was a sipper, there’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. This was meant to be sipped. The carbonation was pretty smooth as well. Overall, I say this was a pretty good Imperial Stout well worthy of having again. Age this beer, don't drink this fresh, trust me.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a snifter, split with a friend.

Pours a deep brown opaque body with a small brown head that reduces to leave a ring of foam.

Aromas of vanilla, bourbon booze, sweet caramel, milk chocolate and molasses come through. Allowed to warm for an hour or so.

Upfront is bittersweet chocolate, whiskey, vanilla, caramel, finish is roasty, coffee, toasted malt. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation.

Overall a solid BA stout, not quite bcbs but nice and balanced and flavorful.

 509 characters

Photo of maximum12
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Don't like stories with your reviews? Take your grumpy butt elsewhere!

This is a bottle of 2008 BA Blackout. I'd set up three trades for this white whale - & all three fell through, with the other end vanishing & ceasing to respond to bmails. I was bummed. ISOs, bmails, almost deals, no BA Blackout. Then two fine BA members teamed up behind my back.

My wife, nursingbeer, decided to do something extra nice for our 10th anniversary. She sought out a saint among saints, sholland119, asking if he could put together a nice box for me. Well, on our anniversary she gave me a box of beer - 2 bombers of Unfiltered Double Simcoe (one of my all-time favorites), a 2009 Darklord (really???) & a 2008 BA Blackout Stout. No shit!! The two sneaks got me one of the beers I've wanted most for the past two years.

On to the beer which, for her trouble, I split with my rather marvelous wife. Poured black, with a hissing dark cap on it that fell quickly. Dark black. Smells great. Barrel, along w/roasted malt & hints of coffee come out of the goblet.

After all this trouble, wouldn't it suck if I didn't like it? Ha! Not much chance of that, since the base beer is great. And this is...sublime. The bourbon on this sucker is dead on, subtle, but with a bite to it, where it doesn't start to warm my chest cavity until about halfway down. The base beer is there underneath, & it supports the barrel-aged aspect wonderfully, although there's more vanilla & a touch of chocolate that I don't recall in the standard Blackout. Silky smooth going down. As it warms, the aroma improves even more, & it takes on a more oily feel to it. Damn. I could drink this until the cows woke up.

Perfect. Only my second pure five. Scott & Molly, thank you!!

 1,739 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 2007 release. Purchased at the Great Lakes gift shop. Obliterative onyx with a sliver of sepia along the bottom edge. The three finger crown is the exact color of golden brown sugar and has a creamy solidity about it. Bourbon barrel-aged beers tend not to be lace monsters, but this one is pretty impressive in that regard.

Oddly enough, the aroma isn't bursting at the seams with bourbon. I love the fact that the GL brewers see this ale as an RIS that is accented with whiskey, not completely saturated with it. Dark chocolate, espresso and vanilla bean are joined by exactly the right amount of bourbon. Perfection.

The flavor profile is pretty much as expected. In other words, bourbon whiskey is at least as prominent as stout, without overwhelming the base beer. First impression: this offering is roughly as good as Blackout Stout, but not appreciably better.

For whatever reason, the body/mouthfeel seems to take a hit when a beer is barrel-aged. In any case, this special release doesn't taste as chock full of malt as the standard version. The flavor profile includes chocolate liqueur, ground coffee beans, a surprising amount of vanilla, dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and... America's greatest spirit. If I'm not mistaken, the barrels were acquired from the Jim Beam distillery. Good choice. Jim Beam Black is one of my standbys.

As noted above, the mouthfeel falls short of perfection. That doesn't mean, however, that it's less than pleasureable. Great Lakes is one of the best 'mouthfeel breweries' around and they've done themselves proud yet again. Time and warming add a light creaminess to the festivities.

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout combines my second favorite style with my first or second favorite liquor, and is brewed by one of my favorite breweries. How could it fail to be anything less than amazing? Thanks to my brother for securing a double handful of this exceptional ale last autumn. I can't wait until this October when I can replenish my stock. Highly recommended.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 12oz bottle (acquired via trade) into a snifter at cellar temp.

Look: seemed to pour a little light and foamy to me, but the expected black with minimal head in the glass.

Smell: huge chocolate, vanilla, cherry. Pretty mild bourbon/barrel notes.

Taste: chocolatey, pretty sweet, mild bourbon, with some oak and maybe very minimal hops bitterness. Alcohol present but not dominant. No off flavors, but adds up to less than the sum of its parts nonetheless.

Feel: oily, a bit sudsy, medium-to-full bodied. Not at all dry.

Overall: pretty good, actually, but clearly a notch below the top tier. I was probably a bit hard on this; interested to see how the 2012, 2014, and non-BA iterations I've got in the cellar stack up.

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Photo of Shawnadams330
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was pretty blown away by this beer. I've had a lot of barrel aged stouts but this one stood out. Really rich, creamy, thick; like enjoying a bourbon-chocolate milkshake. I highly recommend!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ricke
3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, quite pale for the style, with an off-white head.

The aroma is lightly roasted with notes of milk chocolate, bourbon, toasted almonds, ashes and salty licorice.

The flavor is quite sweet with delicate malty backbone of roasted coffee, caramel, fudge and chocolate. Bourbon, almonds, vanilla and some light smoky notes. The finish is lightly bitter with lingering notes of oak, bourbon and salty licorice. Medium body, smooth carbonation.

I had high expectations on this one, and unfortunately they weren't really met. A decent barrel aged imperial stout, no more.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of ccapurso
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of cjn40277
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Spaten454
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of delaced21
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Ben7773
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of newk340
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of lateralundertow
3.59/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sam_Gladieux
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,815 ratings.
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